"The Greatest Escape” Motorcycle Ride originated as a tribute to “The Great Escape” movie starring Steve McQueen, who died of mesothelioma. Since its inception, hundreds of riders have gathered each year to honor those who have lost the fight against mesothelioma and to raise money for research.
About Mesothelioma: Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer and is diagnosed in approximately 2,000-3,000 people in the United States each year. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. Asbestos is finer than human hair, invisible and easily inhaled. Once inhaled, the fibers are able to proceed past the lung and lodge in the chest lining (pleura) over the course of 20-60 years. This rare disease often goes undetected as doctors look to more common causes of the symptoms.
The Pacific Mesothelioma Center (PMC), a division of PHLBI, is focused on the treatment and prevention of malignant pleural mesothelioma a rare cancer with few sources of research funding. The PMC’s mission is to better serve mesothelioma victims by supporting the nation’s first-of-its-kind, and only medical research laboratory that conducts intramural research. The PMC operates in conjunction with the West LA Veterans Affairs Hospital and UCLA.. Together with the West LA VA and UCLA, the PMC aims to provide laboratory-to-the-bedside research and works to improve mesothelioma victims’ lives and longevity by exploring innovative ideas for better treatment options.